Coronavirus in Scotland: Margaret Ferrier MP claims SNP wrote her apology and forced her to issue it

Margaret Ferrier has said that the SNP has ‘hung her out to dry’ after she breached the coronavirus restrictions.

Monday, 12th October 2020, 8:41 am
Updated Monday, 12th October 2020, 9:07 am

The MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West admitted to making a round trip to London and back while having coronavirus.

She told the Scottish Sun that the SNP made her release an apology that wasn't drafted by her.

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Ms Ferrier said: “I just felt it was very pushy.

Photo credit: Parliament TV/PA Wire
Photo credit: Parliament TV/PA Wire

"You’ve just been told you have Covid.

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Nicola Sturgeon repeats calls for Margaret Ferrier to resign as MP

"You’re stressed, with a lot of things going through your mind.

“You’re wanting somebody to help you.

"I said at that point ‘hang on a minute — as soon as this goes out am I going to be bombarded with abuse?’

“They were not considering the fact that I had only been diagnosed with Covid and I don’t know how that’s going to affect my mental state.

“It just went crazy. I still haven’t looked at Twitter, but I have heard about it.”

Ms Ferrier has said that she feels ‘contrite’ about making the trip but refuses to resign her post.

After she released the apology statement, she was told that the whip was being removed.

She said: “They were sorry. They were going to have to take the whip off me, but I would get back in because I was cooperating and had been honest.

“Losing the whip was more of a slap in the face because of all the hard work that I have done for the party since I joined it.

“I could appreciate the party’s decision at the time.

“They told me they would be able to contain this situation.

“Why suddenly have we got to the point where they have to take the whip from me?

“It was because the statement went out and it escalated.

“They pushed me to make a self-referral to the standards commissioner straight away. I was intending to refer myself anyway. You can imagine how sad and angry I was. I felt I was being hung out to dry.”

Among those calling for her resignation is the First Minister, who said that she spoke to Ms Ferrier just after the incident and made her feelings clear.

Speaking on Sky News yesterday, Nicola Sturgeon reiterated: “I couldn’t be clearer, she should step down from Parliament.

“The lapse of judgement in travelling hundreds of miles knowing she had tested positive for Covid-19 was so significant and so unacceptable that I don’t think there is any other acceptable course of action for her.

“I’ve read her comments in the media today but I still hope she will do the right thing.

“Every day, I have to stand and ask people across the country to do horrendously difficult things, to not visit their loved ones, and right now I’m asking people to understand why they can’t go to a pub or a restaurant.

“And it is unacceptable that somebody in her position flagrantly disregarded the rules like that and I cannot be clearer about that.

“It is not acceptable and she should resign.”

An SNP spokesman told The Sun: “The SNP took swift and decisive action to remove the SNP whip, a move supported by the SNP group, and suspend her from the party.

“While there is an internal process ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

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